Friday, February 17, 2012

Best hotels in Bali

For many, when they think of Bali, immediately thoughts of fantastic waves, glorious beaches, and brilliant sunsets come to mind. Surfers have trekked to Balinese shores since the 1960’s in search of the perfect wave, without obnoxious crowds. For many, those dreams were realized here, and many of these soul surfers had no reason to leave after experiencing the fantastic breaks that are known to swell above 10ft all year long, paired with the idyllic culture that is unlike anywhere else in the world.

Even if you have never surfed, on a visit to Bali it is definitely worth the experience to hit up one of the local surf shacks for private lessons. If less active pursuits are more your thing, laying back on the beach and savoring the famous Indo sunsets cannot be missed. The colors are ablaze as the sun dips below the horizon, and this spectacle is one of Bali’s signature treasures. Locals will happily debate the best spot to view the sunset, and luckily there are many places that offer great views.

Ubud is like Bali’s “East Village,” where all the hip culture is happening, with art galleries, exquisite Balinese crafts, and all varieties of Indonesian artisan treasures. Excellent craftsman with wood, you will be amazed by the gorgeous carved statues, and wooden jewelry the area is known for. Other excellent pieces to bring home are the celebrated sarongs and batik textiles. Seminyak is Bali’s trendy, high-end quarter, and is also the hottest spot for glitzy nightlife. Fun restaurants and bars line the streets, with atmospheres that are as much about being seen as they are about the cool art and design they house.

One adventurous way to take in all of Bali’s beauty at eye-level is to do it on two wheels. Bicycle tours are becoming increasingly popular because of the convenience, the gentler environmental impact, and the thrill of it. Biking the back roads while viewing the rice terraces, coffee plantations, the lovely natural surroundings, while getting to know the locals, will put you directly into the culture, allowing you to experience it in a more authentic, less touristy way.

Catering to international visitors, Bali offers plenty of great cuisine. Whether it’s traditional fare you’re going after, or something a little different, the scene on Jalan Raya Sanggingan, a trendy street north of Ubud, is bustling with extraordinary dining. Traditional Japanese food is fused with local Indonesian delicacies at Minami, while the very best French-Asian fusion is at Mozaic. Totally out of the ordinary is Café Havana, in Ubud. Here you will find Cuban culture thriving in the South Pacific, complete with distinctive cocktails, live salsa musicians, dance lessons, and plenty of Cuban kitsch.

There is nowhere in all of Indonesia as friendly towards travelers as Bali. If you are going, the best hotels in Bali will add one more layer of depth to your trip with gracious hospitality, beautiful surroundings, and rejuvenating relaxation. If you want your stay to be a blissful retreat, stay at the Como Shambhala Estate, where the science of holistic wellness is combined with the spiritual beauty of the Balinese culture. The Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan offers the very best in service, amenities, and relaxation tucked into the jungle. While the St. Regis Bali offers a glamorous “home away from home” atmosphere, with very decadent services, and very indulgent dining options.

An exotic hotspot that draws an international clientele, Bali offers sun-drenched beaches, sizzling nightlife, artistic hideouts, unbelievable fashion, and a whole lot of culture. Whether you are in Bali, or the neighboring outskirts like Ubud, Kuta, or Seminyak, this Indonesian paradise lures visitors with it’s promise of excitement!

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